Comparo: T-Mobile G1 Android v. Apple iPhone 3G

Google's first smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, made its official debut Tuesday morning in New York. The $179 device, which is manufactured by HTC, is the first phone to use Google's open source Android operating system. Like Apple's iPhone 3G, the G1 has full touch-screen functionality and works on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. But does this new smartphone pack enough muscle to topple Apple's iPhone? Below is a rundown of the G1's specs and how they compare to the iPhone 3G.

T-Mobile G1 vs iPhone 3G, winning feature in BOLD

T-Mobile G1
Apple iPhone 3G
5.6 ounces
4.7 ounces
Data Plans
$25/mo Unlimited Web + 400 msgs;
$35/mo Unlimited Web & msgs
$30/mo unlimited data
(at thickest)
15.7 mm
12.3 mm
3.17" 480x320
3.5" 480x320
MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis
AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, WAV, H.264, MP4, JPEG
802.11g, 3G
802.11g, 3G
Web Browser
Chrome Lite
1GB (via bundled microSD card)
8GB (built-in)
Up to 8GB (via microSD)
QWERTY Keyboard
Headphone Jack
Stores Supported
Android Market,
Amazon MP3
Apple iTunes Store
Rated Battery Life
5 hours talk,
130 hours standby
5 hours talk,
300 hours standby

On the hardware front, the G1 lacks some of the iPhone's sophistication. It has a bulkier footprint, weighs more, and packs a smaller screen than its competition. In addition, the G1 only comes with a paltry 1GB of memory (although you can expand it). Fortunately, the phone makes up for those shortcomings with a built-in five-row QWERTY keyboard that slides out from underneath the device's touch screen.

However, the G1 has exciting potential on the software front. Naturally, the G1 works seamlessly with Google's long list of services including GMail, Google Talk, YouTube, and Google Maps. But the phone's most attractive aspect lies in its OS, which allows developers to create third-party apps for the phone. The apps will be made available via the Android Market, Google's answer to Apple's App Store, and unlike Apple, Google will make apps in the Android Market available for free. In addition, there will be no approval process. It's up to users to rate the good apps from the duds, giving Android customers a democratic way of choosing apps.

Other features include a built-in compass that, in conjunction with Google Maps' Street View, will let you navigate 360 degrees just by moving the phone around, and a mobile version of the Amazon MP3 Store that will come preloaded on the G1 (unfortunately, the G1 lacks a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and instead relies on a proprietary USB connector).

Although the G1 will be a T-Mobile exclusive when it launches on October 22, other mobile providers will soon offer Android phones of their own. In fact, Sprint is said to be prepping its Android-based phone for release later this year. So while this first-generation Android phone might not have met our full expectations, future phones are sure to give Apple, RIM, and Windows Mobile a run for their mobile money.

Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features Editor.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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1 comment
Do they ever purge content, this is from 2008!